For decades, the world’s loneliest elephant has entertained crowds from his small, barren patch of land in a Pakistani zoo. Kaavan, the world’s loneliest elephant, is finally going free
The visitors would call for more as he saluted them, prompted by handlers who poked him with nailed bull hooks to make him perform for the money which lined their pockets.
Around him, animals disappeared from their enclosures, rumoured to be bound for the plates of the wealthy, while his only companion died, allegedly of sepsis brought on by those bull-hook nails digging deep into her skin.
And for years, it seemed that no one cared about the elephant’s lonely fate. His wounds became infected and the chains around his legs slowly left permanent scars. He drifted slowly into psychosis and obesity.
But on Sunday, the world’s loneliest elephant will finally leave behind his desolate enclosure for a new life on the other side of the continent, thanks to the determination of a coalition of determined volunteers and, somewhat unexpectedly, the American pop icon Cher.
This is the story of Kaavan. It begins with a prayer and ends in a song.
Read the full article on the BBC here.